Wilmer Valderrama (That 70’s Show, Yo Momma, The Dry Land) has become a household name since first appearing as the endearing FEZ on FOX’s That 70’s Show. Yet, few are aware that he had very humble beginnings and comes from an extremely poor neighborhood in Venezuela—a place so dangerous, residents lock themselves in their homes by 5 o’clock to avoid the violence on the streets. nuvoTV’s PASTPORT: VENEZUELA joins Valderrama on his emotional return to Venezuela for the first time since he came to the U.S. 16 years ago.
The only series of its kind, PASTPORT follows the unique journeys of Latino celebrities as they travel to the countries of their families’ origins, often for the first time, to re-connect with their Latino heritage, history and culture.Wilmer Valderrama’s PASTPORT: VENEZUELA airs Tuesday May 1, 2012 at 10PM ET/PT.
The first stop for Valderrama, who traveled with a security detail—a necessity in modern day Venezuela—was to the capital, Caracas, to reunite with his father’s family. The reunion becomes extremely emotional when they witness how the little boy they remember so lovingly has become a grown man and a bona fide TV star. “Distance makes someone forget,” his aunt somberly reflected as she and Valderrama prepared a favorite traditional Venezuelan meal together – arepas. And although he has fond memories of much of his family, there are many more family members he is meeting for the very first time.
Born and raised in Acarigua, Venezuela, Valderrama’s acting talent shone at an early age, and late at night he would often fantasize about being destined for Hollywood. Tears filled the actor’s eyes when he returned to that very bedroom where he first envisioned his dream that would eventually lead him on a path to fame. With nostalgic visits to his elementary school, a local radio station and a drama class at a university, PASTPORT: VENEZUELA is an emotionally charged hour that gives viewers an up close and personal look at Hollywood star’s triumphant return home.
“PASTPORT captures a journey to your past that anyone can relate to, but especially the Bi-Cultural Latino community,” said Maria Perez-Brown, nuvoTV’s senior vice president of programming, “The people we follow are passionate about their own American experience, but crave a stronger bond to their heritage. Our audience connects with this on a very personal level, because they are constantly balancing the best of their two cultures.”